On Chinese Communist Party's 99th anniversary, a timeline of how it became so controversial

The Chinese Communist Party, officially the Communist Party of China, is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The party was established on July 23, 1921. During its tenure, the party drew criticism for its involvement in various controversies. 

Here is a list of incidents/decisions that go on to make the 99-year-old communist party highly controversial:

Tiananmen Square protest

The protests started on April 15, 1989 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing. 

In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops armed with assault rifles and accompanied by tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military's advance into Tiananmen Square.

China has never provided a full accounting of the 1989 violence. The death toll given by officials days later was about 300, most of them soldiers, but rights groups and witnesses say the death toll could have run into the thousands.

(Photograph:Others)

Treatment towards the Uighurs muslims

China was globally condemned for their treatment towards the Uighurs muslims in the Xinjiang district. 

In a report by Rights group Amnesty International,  said authorities criminalised "what they labelled 'illegal religious' and 'separatist' activities" and clamped down on "peaceful expressions of cultural identity". This report was published in 2013. 

In July 2014, some Xinjiang government departments banned Muslim civil servants from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. It was not the first time China had restricted fasting in Xinjiang, but it followed a slew of attacks on the public attributed to Uighur extremists, prompting concerns the ban would increase tensions.

Meanwhile, the US State Department organised an event to highlight the plight of Uighurs in China.

The conference was held on the sidelines of the general assembly to garner support "to demand and compel an immediate end to China’s horrific campaign of repression," John Sullivan, the US's second-highest diplomat, said.

(Photograph:AFP)

China-Taiwan tensions

After decades of hostile intentions and angry rhetoric, relations between China and Taiwan started improving in the 1980s. China put forward a formula, known as "one country, two systems", under which Taiwan would be given significant autonomy if it accepted Chinese reunification.

The offer was rejected, but Taiwan did relax rules on visits to and investment in China. It also, in 1991, proclaimed the war with the People's Republic of China over.

Beijing was shocked when  Taiwan elected as president Chen Shui-bian, who had openly backed independence in 2000.

In January 2016, Tsai Ing-wen defeated Kuomintang party candidate Eric Chu. Tsai leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which leans towards independence from China.

Last year the Trump administration announced it would sell 66 latest generation F-16 jets to Taiwan shortly after another huge military hardware sale including missiles and armoured vehicles. 

The announcement infuriated Beijing, which vowed to sanction companies involved in the sale if it went through.

Last month, China reacted angrily to a US military transport jet's flight over the self-ruled island of Taiwan, calling it an "illegal act" and "serious provocation".

(Photograph:Reuters)

Hong Kong's struggle to preserve autonomy!

Hong Kong has had a never-ending struggle to preserve its autonomy. From Umbrella Movement to National Security Law. 

In 2019, the Hong Kong government tried to fast-track a bill through the city's partially elected legislature that would have allowed extraditions to China's Communist Party-controlled courts.

The move sparked the biggest protests Hong Kong had witnessed since the handover. Millions took to the streets during seven months of unrest while a smaller section of hardcore protesters frequently battled police in often-violent confrontations that saw more than 9,000 arrested.

The movement soon morphed into a new call for democracy and police accountability.

In a bid to quell protests, Beijing passed a national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday in an unusually speedy and opaque process.

The law bypassed Hong Kong's legislature entirely. The city's 7.5 million inhabitants were not shown details of the law even as it was passed.

A summary published by China's official Xinhua news agency Xinhua this month said the legislation would cover subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.

China's security agencies will be able to set up shop publicly in the city for the first time.

And Beijing will have jurisdiction over some cases, toppling the legal firewall that has existed between Hong Kong and mainland courts.

(Photograph:AFP)

Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus was first reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan's Hubei province in China. The deadly Covid-19 across the world has now infected more than 15 million people, with 6.20 lakh people succumbing to the virus.

Researchers with the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention re-analyzed 640 throat swabs collected from patients in Wuhan with influenza-like-illness from October 6, 2019 to January 21, 2020 and found that nine of the 640 throat swabs were COVID-19 positive.

Interestingly, these samples came from six different districts of Wuhan, suggesting that community transmission of coronavirus in Wuhan started in early January this year.

(Photograph:AFP)

Chinese hackers

The Justice Department accused a pair of Chinese hackers on Tuesday of targeting vaccine development on behalf of the country’s intelligence service as part of a broader yearslong campaign of global cybertheft aimed at industries such as defense contractors, high-end manufacturing and solar energy companies.

The relations between the two heavyweights have further strained after US ordered to shut down Chinese consulate in Houston. 

The US State Department has said the recent closing of China's consulate in Houston was to ordered to protect Americans' intellectual property and private information.

Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that under the Vienna Convention states "have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs" of the receiving country.

 

(Photograph:Reuters)

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